May 2016 CNW Meeting Review – Pat Moriarity
by Larry Lewis
It seems our May speaker, Pat Moriarity, never had to go through that ‘but what will you do for your real job?’ thing. Both his parents were artists, his father a cartoonist! He started early- he showed us a gag cartoon much in his dad’s style from when he was five- and just never stopped. He grew up in Iowa, but as soon as he graduated high school in 1985 he lit off for Minneapolis and its surging Punk scene, just walking right up to musicians and asking if they needed record covers and posters. They did, and he worked with many now-famous bands.
By 1991 he had had some narrative work published in a Fantagraphics anthology. A friend recruited him to help move him out to Portland, OR, and Pat thought while he was in the neighborhood he’d run up to Seattle and see if he could get them to publish more of his stuff. Instead, they hired him! He never went back. Six months later he sent for his belongings.
A success at freelancing, he had no regular paycheck until he started teaching at the Art Institute. Recent works have included posters, CD covers, and the like for bands and music festivals all over the US and even Europe. Pat starts slowly, with difficulty, in pencils, then when the sketch is finally good enough and approved he inks with crowquill pens and Speedballs, like the 102, then finishes by scanning it and coloring in Photoshop.
In 2012 he was invited to Serbia’s “Novo Doba” cartooning festival (www.novodobafestival.net), a huge event in many venues. He took over five hours of video on a cheap camera, recording the exhibition, music, people, and the huge and pervasive public arts scene (official and other) throughout Belgrade. Invited back to Belgrade for 2015’s Salon Stripa festival (www.salonstripaskc.rs) with his friend Mitch, he gave all that heretofore unused footage to a Serbian filmmaker friend and he turned it – voila! – into a one-hour full-on movie- soundtrack, captions, and all!
We got to see most of it, and it truly conveys the strength and depth of the Serbian comics scene and the vitality of the ten-day festival! Art in galleries, art in coffeehouses and bars, art in the streets, art in dangerous, bombed-out buildings. It’s as if Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood were all of downtown!
Salon Stripa was also the World Premiere of Bezango, WA, Ron Austin and Louise Amandes’ movie about Seattle’s cartooning history and present. It was well-received.
Editor’s note: The “after meeting” at Burgermaster was great as well. In addition to the great discussions, sharing, and good food, a group member had many wonderful cartoon and other art books from their personal collection up for grabs. I’m sure they will be treasured by the thankful recipients – I’m enjoying mine thoroughly! (cns)